India U-19 squad for Asia Cup 2017 announced
What’s the story?
The All-India Junior Selection Committee announced a 14-man India U-19 squad for the upcoming Asia Cup, set to be held in November this year. Haryana all-rounder Himanshu Rana has been named captain, while Abhishek Sharma has been handed the deputy's role.
In case you didn’t know…
Under the tutelage of Rahul Dravid, the India colts won the Asia Cup in December last year, beating Sri Lanka in the finals to clinch the title for the third time in three editions. The tournament was first held in 2012, where India and Pakistan were named joint winners.
The heart of the matter
The fourth edition of the Asia Cup, set to be held in Malaysia, will take place from November 9-20, 2017.
Following is the full squad:
Himanshu Rana (Captain), Abhishek Sharma (vice-captain), Atharva Taide, Manjot Kalra, Salman Khan, Anuj Rawat, Harvik Desai, Riyan Parag, Anukul Roy, Shiva Singh, Tanush Kotian, Darshan Nalkande, Vivekanand Tiwary, Aditya Thakare, Mandeep Singh.
The most notable absentee from the list is Prithvi Shaw, the 17-year-old batsman from Mumbai, who recently broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record for being the youngest to score a century on Duleep Trophy debut, when he compiled a scintillating 154 for the India Red against India Blue.
The selectors believed that the teenager should be part of the Ranji Trophy, instead of playing with the junior team in Malaysia. Incidentally, Shaw had scored a century on his Ranji debut earlier this year, for Mumbai against Tamil Nadu in the semi-finals.
While the next generation of Team India potentials gear up for their latest test against the rest of the Asia teams in November, the Ranji Trophy 2017-18 season continues, with Railways, Saurashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Bengal leading their respective groups at the moment.
The U-19 World Cup, set to be held in New Zealand, is less than a few months away, making every tournament in the lead-up to the coveted global championship, a crucial one for India’s junior side. The reins of the side have been given to Rana, who is one of the most experienced members of the squad and has been in fine nick recently.
The decision to hold Shaw back for the Ranji also bodes well for the youngster, who has been hailed as the next big thing from Mumbai cricket. The selectors have acknowledged the fact that he needs to be nurtured carefully, and have made sure that he plies his trade against the red ball instead of playing the Asia Cup.